The Strong Delusion

2 Thessalonians 2:11 KJV  11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Have you ever heard of two lawyers turned clergymen, John Nelson Darby
(d. 1862) or Cyrus I. Scofield (d. 1921)?  One was British, the other American.

Many of you will say NO but in fact, most premillennial Christians have been repeatedly indoctrinated to believe their theory of the dispensational TRIBULATION period.  Is this the ‘strong delusion’ of 2 Thessalonians 2:11? Before you close your browser,  consider an alternative explanation of Daniel 9:27 that is worth your time.  Read on!

Daniel 9:27 KJV  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The scripture (Daniel 9:27) above asks us a very important question.  Who is the ‘he’ being referring to?  If we read the scripture that immediately precedes it (Dan 9:26), we are only given TWO CHOICES:  The Messiah or the Destroying Prince.  Darby and Scofield chose ‘Destroying Prince’ and this choice reverberates across modern believers to this day, emerging through the writings of a host of end time authors (Hal Lindsay, Irvin Baxter, Tim LeHaye-Leroy Jenkins, Jack Van Impe, Chuck Smith, Grant Jeffries, Arthur Pink and a multitude of others locked into the dispensational theology of reformer Jean Calvin). 

You see, Daniel 9:27 is the scripture that tells the Church ‘how long’ the TRIBULATION PERIOD will last.  This is an important consideration and it is the key to unraveling the 70 weeks prophecy Daniel was given (539BC in Susa, Persia). 

By using word substitution in Daniel 9:27, we can logically determine which choice for ‘he’ fits best.  Fair enough?  Let’s do it.

Daniel 9:27 KJV And CHRIST shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 9:27 KJV And ANTICHRIST shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

If we choose CHRIST as the ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27, then 486 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70 weeks (70 x 7 = 490 years) has expired for Israel.  Thus, the TRIBULATION period for Israel (Jacob’s trouble) will last 3 1/2 years or ‘time, times, and dividing of time’.  This period would then finish the judgment on the chosen people as described in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. 

If we choose ANTICHRIST as the ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27, then 483 years of Daniel’s 490 year prophecy has expired for Israel. By making this choice, the TRIBULATION period for Israel and the world will last 7 years.

So which definition makes more sense?  Christ or Antichrist?

Let’s ask some illuminating questions of Daniel 9:27 by inserting two different choices in the passage:  Christ or Antichrist. 

1.  He will confirm a covenant for 1 week.  One week in Daniel’s prophecy is 7 years. 

If we choose and insert CHRIST as ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27, then the covenant was the DAVIDIC COVENANT which promised a King to sit on the throne of David, has yet to be confirmed by the Levitical Priesthood.  Thus, CHRIST would have a 7 year ministry given specifically to Israel to help them understand and approve His messianic Kingship.  As we know, Jesus was not anointed, was crucified, and his ministry was cut off after 3 1/2 years.  Therefore, a 3 1/2 year ministry period remains for Jesus to fulfill where ‘he’ will build a physical 3rd Temple as a memorial of both the Old and New Covenants (Ezekiel 40-48).  This will occur at his return with the saints of God in rescue of Israel, a starting point of the Millenium as predicted in the book of Revelation.

If we choose ANTICHRIST, then the unrevealed ‘son of perdition’ will come to Jerusalem 3 1/2 years after the building of a 3rd Temple by Rabbinical and Levitical Judaism.  Then Antichrist will negotiate a peace agreement between the Arab world and Israel, declare himself to be Israel’s Messiah, erecting himself as the image of jealousy in a physical rebuilt temple.

The confirmation of the covenant in this scenario is some sort of anticipated Middle East peace agreement yet to be negotiated.

2.  He will cause the Temple sacrifices to cease and for the overspreading of abominations, he will make the Temple desolate.

If we choose CHRIST, then the death of Jesus made Temple sacrifices pointless and non-efficacious as Jesus atoning death was the final sacrifice under the law.  He will cause the TEMPLE to be destroyed because of the abominations of the Levitical Priesthood, corrupted by the Greeks and Romans, which in due time resulted in Israel’s Priestly rejection of Jesus as their King (they refused Jesus coronation/inauguration then crucified their King)

By the way, Jesus predicted the destruction of the Zerrubabel’s Temple after the corrupt Levitical Priests denied him coronation, as he wept from the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24).  In this view, the TEMPLE is Spiritual, a restored Church whereupon Israel enters into the Kingdom of Heaven (the True Church) during the time of Jacob’s trouble.  Further, the physical 3rd Temple is constructed in the Millennium by Jesus and His bride, after great tribulation, much as the King of Israel did during Solomon’s day.

If we choose ANTICHRIST, then a 3rd physical Temple must be rebuilt before the return of Jesus as a ‘sign to believers’ that the 7 year Tribulation period has commenced.  This ‘sign’ will occur just prior to the rapture and will cause the Church to become hyper-sensitive to the rising of the ‘man of sin’ (no need to look for antichrist until the temple is rebuilt, so just enjoy life).  Antichrist will arrive in Israel and like the maniacal Greek King Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria, will desecrate the rebuilt Temple with a ‘dagon like’ statue of himself being placed in the ‘holy of holies’ and/or he will cause a ‘pagan sacrifice’ to be made on a reconstituted ‘brazen temple altar’. 

3.  When Daniel 9:27 references desolation from desecration of the Temple, we see again the impact of choosing ‘he’ as Christ versus Antichrist.  

If we choose CHRIST, then 3 1/2 of the 7 years occurred began with Jesus’ water baptism, concluding at the glorification of the name of the Father  on the cross, April 3, AD33.  Jesus will return to destroy Antichrist and the false prophet, after Antichrist has concluded his own 3 1/2 year ministry described as the 1260 day Tribulation period predicted in the book of Revelation.  In this view, Jesus returns to rapture a refined and restored Church, then rescues Israel just prior to the short time of God’s wrath (Armageddon).  Wrath is poured out out on Israel’s and the Church’s enemies.

During this intense Tribulation period (hour of temptation, Rev 3:10) , Antichrist is given power over the Church (wicked one, delusion) and Israel to destroy monotheistic faith.  Upon Jesus’ return from the clouds, Israel is given the opportunity again to ‘inaugurate’ Jesus as King of Israel.  This inauguration after Temple Construction concludes the first 3 1/2 year period of the millennium.  This inauguration is preceded by the merger of the Gentile Church with Messianic Judaism during the Jewish festival of TABERNACLES, the much expected ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’, a service that traditionally lasts 8 days.  One would conclude that Armageddon is therefore, an 8 day war.

If we choose ANTICHRIST, then the Tribulation period is divided into two segments, each lasting 3 1/2 years.  The first 3 1/2 years is the ‘wrath of satan’ whereas the last 3 1/2 years is the ‘wrath of God’. 

At the conclusion of the Tribulation period, Jesus returns with PRETRIB Raptured saints to rescue Israel from persecution.  The only Church people persecuted by Antichrist during the TRIBULATION period are those who became believers during this period who somehow cannot be raptured (a 2nd rapture must occur after martyrdom) until Antichrist finishes his reign.  This is a sort of a punishment for not believing before the PRETRIB Rapture occurres. 

To conclude this view, at the end of these events the marriage supper of the Lamb occurs and the Temple Israel rebuilt 7 years prior to Jesus return is occupied by Jesus and the Christian Saints. This occupation of the Holy Land and the physical Temple initiates the 1,000 year millennial reign on earth.


Now my question is simple.  Why should we believe Darby or Scofield and accept ‘he’ as Antichrist in Daniel 9:27?  As one of my work colleagues once told me, “people tend to believe the first voice, even if it’s a liar”. 

Do we have a ‘delusion’ in our minds simply because we have read all the modern authors above who have accepted Darby and Scofield’s speculations?  At a minimum, I think it is worth the effort to consider the alternative. 

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Comments 4

  1. Hello,

    The “he” in Daniel 9:27 is the antichrist, not Jesus Christ. This is so obvious from the passage. You need to get it right! Note the following facts from the passage:

    1) The “he” in Daniel 9:27 refers to the “prince who is to come” in the preceding verse (Daniel 9:26). An excerpt from this verse says: “. . And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [temple] . . “. This excerpt from Daniel 9:26 tells us that the people of the ‘prince who is to come’ (the “he” in verse 27) are the ones who would destroy the city of Jerusalem and the temple in Jerusalem. In other words, the ancestors of the prince who is to come are the ones who would destroy the city of Jerusalem and the temple. This prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in a military operation led by the Roman General Titus. Since the temple was destroyed in AD 70, it has not been rebuilt till today. So, based on Daniel 9:27, we can be confident that “the people of the prince who is to come” (Daniel 9:26) are the Romans. In other words, the Romans are the ancestors of the prince who is to come. This prince who is to come cannot be Jesus Christ because the Romans are NOT the ancestors of Jesus Christ.

    2) Furthermore, verse 27 says: “. . But in the middle of the week, “he” shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering, and on the wings of abominations shall be one who makes desolate . . .” (NKJV). The NIV translation puts it as follows: “In the middle of the ‘seven’, he will put an end to sacrifices and offering; and at the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation …”. So, this verse says the “he” in Daniel 9:27 is going to set up an “abomination that causes desolation” in the middle of the week (i.e. at mid-tribulation). An abomination of desolation is a desolating sacrilege, an appalling idolatrous worship offered in the Temple of God. In 167 B.C. a Greek ruler by the name of Antiochus Epiphanies set up an altar to the Greek god Zeus over the altar of burnt offerings in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, and sacrificed a pig on the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem — an abomination indeed! This event is known as the abomination of desolation. Just as Antiochus did in 167 BC, Daniel 9:27 says the future ‘prince who is to come’ (the “he” in Daniel 9:27) will set up an abomination of desolation inside the Temple of the living God in Jerusalem. Obviously, this “he” cannot be Jesus Christ. The “he” is the antichrist.

    In fact, Jesus warned the Jews in His Olivet discourse (Matthew 24:15-22) to flee Jerusalem as soon as they see the antichrist commit the “abomination of desolation” inside the temple at mid-tribulation. Why did Jesus warn the Jews to flee Jerusalem as soon as they see the abomination of desolation in the temple? He warned them to flee because as soon as the antichrist declares himself to be god and commits the abomination of desolation, he would begin to persecute the Jews and will seek to kill the Jews and annihilate them. It will be the greatest persecution ever perpetrated against the Jews. It will be of such a severe scale that the holocaust perpetrated by Hitler would seem like a child’s play.

    Clearly, the “he” in Daniel 9:27 is NOT Jesus Christ. The “he” is the antichrist. It is the “he” who sets up the desolating abomination inside the Temple of God in Jerusalem. When the future abomination of desolation is set up, it will leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that the one perpetrating it is the person known as the antichrist. Revelation 13:14 describes the antichrist making some kind of image which everyone is forced to worship. Turning the temple of the living God into a place of worship for the antichrist is truly an “abomination.” Those who are alive and remain during the tribulation should be watchful and recognize that this event is the beginning of three-and-a-half years of the worst of the tribulation period and that the return of the Lord Jesus is imminent.

    Concerning the antichrist, Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as god sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” So, the antichrist is going to enter the temple of God in Jerusalem, declare himself as god and demand to be worshipped. Then the image of the antichrist will be set up in the Temple in Jerusalem, and everyone will be commanded to worship this image — an abomination indeed.

    Revelation 13:15 says: “And he [the false prophet] had power to give life unto the image of the beast [the antichrist], that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

    1. Post

      Hi Victor,
      Thanks for your comment. Your view is the classic John Nelson Darby (Cyrus Scofield) view. If you read Hal Lindsey or the Tim Lahaye before you commented on this article, your comment identifies you as a Scofield dispensationalist. Scofield inserted Darbyite commentary into the KJV Bible which was in turn, issued to WW1 soldiers in the USA. That is how the Darbyite defintion infected North American clergy.

      Some things to consider:
      1. Emperor Julian the Apostate attempted to rebuild the Temple in Jersualem in 363AD. His mission was to prove Jesus a ‘false prophet’ and disprove the Matthew 24 Olivet discourse. If the stones were put back in place, Jesus prophecy could not be true. A set of miraculous events foiled this effort.
      2. The Daniel 9:27 pronoun ‘He’ is linguistically interpreted “Messiah” or “Destroying Prince”, permitting the reader to choose. You chose the classic Darby definition.
      You haven’t quoted anything in your post that proves the “Destroying Prince” definition. You simply noted your own beliefs.
      3. We approve comments on our website if they are discussion oriented, not apologetic oriented. We want to follow peace with all men.

      God bless you Victor. I hope you have warm weather in Toronto this year.

  2. Hello,

    You say, ” Scofield inserted Darbyite commentary into the KJV Bible.” And you say I chose the classic Darby definition and I simply quoted my own beliefs. Are you aware of any other Bible translation in existence anywhere in the world that has a different rendering of Daniel 9:26-27? If so, I would be happy to consult it. Also, if you are aware of any Bible translation of Daniel 9 that does not contain the so-called ‘Darbyite commentary insertion’, please let me know so that I can obtain a copy of such a translation and read it for myself.

    It is not a question of quoting Darby’s definitions. Rather, it’s a question of what makes sense from the passage! I really don’t care what Darby or any other commentator thinks. I am an intelligent person. I don’t need Darby or any other interpreter to interpret a passage for me when the passage is written in a language I can understand. I don’t foolishly follow other people’s interpretations or commentaries. I do my own analysis of the passage and I carefully consider all the facts in the passage. God has given me a brain to think and analyze things for myself. In the end, the interpretation of the passage must make sense to me before I can accept it. When I read a passage, any interpretation of the passage must make sense to me from the context of the passage.

    So far, I have reviewed Daniel 9:26-27 in multiple Bible translations. I have reviewed this passage in at least 20 different translations. Looking at the context of the “he” in this passage, I don’t see how the “he” could be Jesus Christ. Whichever Bible translation you use, one thing is very clear: the “he” in this passage is associated with NEGATIVE things. For example, the “he” will cause sacrifice and offerings to cease in the temple of God in the middle of the week; the “he” is the desolator who makes desolate by the wing of abominations in the temple; and then at the end, God will pour out that which is determined on this “he” who is the desolator. That is, God will pour out judgment on the “he”. This is what all the Bible translations are saying. Therefore, there is no way that the “he” can be Jesus Christ. It just does not make any sense to me.

    Some interpreters such as Edward Young and Phillip Mauro interpret the “he” as a reference to the Messiah primarily because the entire prophecy is about the Messiah and the premise that there is no (to use their words) “future ‘prince’ making a covenant with” Israel. This interpretation makes no sense because the new covenant in Christ’s blood is an everlasting covenant, not a seven-year covenant and not a covenant which He will ever break. God is a covenant-keeping God! How can the reference be to Christ when we have just been introduced to “the prince who is to come” which describes one out of the Roman empire? Christ did not come from the Roman Empire but from Israel. Furthermore, when did Christ make a firm covenant with many Jews for one week (seven year period)? And how can it be said of Christ that “in the midst of the week”, He caused the sacrifices to cease? Sacrifices continued in the Temple some 40 years after Messiah was cut off, well past the 7 years of the 70th Week. Clearly, the “he” is not Christ. It makes no sense at all to say that the “he” refers to Christ. As I said earlier, my view is based on my personal analysis of the passage and what makes sense to me.

    In the end, the interpretation of any passage must be guided by the context. We can’t take a singe verse out of context and try to interpret it in isolation.

    Thank God and God bless.

    1. Post

      Thanks for your comment. Your view of Daniel 9:24-27 is identical to Darby’s.

      Jesus was commissioned at his baptism at age 30. 3 1/2 years later, he was cutoff. The final 3/12 years are yet to be fulfilled of Daniel’s70th week. The word MESSIAH better fits the ‘he’ pronoun in Daniel 9:27, in my opinion.

      You are welcome to your opinion and clearly disagree with my article. That is what is great about a discussion….especially a tolerant and polite one.
      No one loses in that kind of discussion.

      God bless you in Jesus name.


      ps. No further comments will be approved on this topic as it is well hashed.

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